Going back to the history, fast fashion emerged at the inception of the twenty-first century with the policy of fresh fashion, rapid production, low cost and instant delivery. The term is used to describe cheap and affordable clothes coming into market as fast as possible to match up with the trend. It combines two major operating characteristics of quick response and enhanced design systems. It is the change closely associated with seasons establishing value.
It involves adopting new styles and focusing on imagination. Fast fashion is opposed to ethical fashion which is an approach to the design, manufacturing source, giving maximum benefit to the consumers and causing minimal harm to environment. Although fast fashion seems cool and stylish when looked at from a distance, it has some disadvantages as well. Some of them are mentioned below, take a look.
Disadvantages of Fast Fashion
- It is unsustainable. It has short product life cycle.
- The focus largely lies on imitation of original products which misleads the customer. Those who are aware of this replication or who have lack of fashion consciousness wouldn't suffer, but those interested in purchasing original brands are deceived by these fast fashion trends.
- The retailers make closest copies of the original which involves reputation risk and using lowest cost labor amounts to labor exploitation making it an ethical issue.
- There is also scarcity experienced of qualified personnel in manufacturing garments.
- There is a tough competition due to low-cost producers. These retailers use more style, take less time in producing the garment and have rapid delivery.
- Another negative aspect of fast fashion is, it stands against costume designing. Both are closely related to each other but costume designing has got hardly any recognition as compared to (fast) fashion designing.
There is a great competition between fast fashion companies. They have to keep updating the products of their company in order to survive in the market. Following is the one brand name that has dominated the market for infinite years:
Zara's Business Model
When we talk about Fast Fashion brands, Zara's business model appears first in the list. In fact, it is the leading retailer in response to quick trends. Before Zara it was Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz with a bright red H&M logo, leading the international market of cheap and general clothing. On 29th March, Spanish retail group, Inditex, best known for its Zara stores in Europe took over and led the market thereafter.
The CEO did not want to invest much on advertising, rather, believed in having Zara stores in the most luxurious areas. Zara owned all the supply channels and the biggest disadvantage of that was, it became very difficult for Zara to expand to far location.f Zara's model particularly, was quick to respond to the shifts in consumer's tastes. Zara's fashion designs stay in the market for not more than four weeks. This makes the visitors to have repeated visits to the store.
Zara had the scope to expand in Europe, however difference in clothing style and culture restricted its expansion in other parts of the world. In the eastern countries Zara didn't obtain a very stabilized financial market and customers rarely visited the store. Geographically there is a lot of internal variation in the markets that are located in the parts other than Europe.
Apart from fast fashion there are other short-term fashion trends like fashion fads which last for considerably shorter period than fast fashion. It suddenly becomes popular and also disappears quickly. The moderate fashion trends last for a considerable amount of time where people get time to approach it.
It has greater possibility of being cyclical i.e., it can disappear but can also return. Having such negative features and a number of disadvantages, how can fast fashion have a bright future? It appears, retailers make money and the trend disappears. The concept of financial growth appears as their main aim and the strategy is decided around this basic principle. It always remains a temporary style trend.
On a concluding note, the disadvantages of fast fashion have been discussed and now it is you who has to decide whether to consider it as beneficial or not.